Family sessions have never, ever been my thing. Mostly because the things I find to be beautiful in family systems aren't the same as what most people pay money to have captured. That one lock of hair that curls on the nape of their neck, the crying and then reaching wholeheartedly with both arms for comfort (oh, how I wish I didn't forget how to do this as an adult), the messy snuggle piles on the couch...
Sure everyone loves these moments, but how many giant enlargements of a spilled bowl of cheerios have you seen above the mantle lately, you know? So, I didn't really offer family photography because I was afraid that I'd have to be something I'm not.
But then Braedon's school asked me if I'd offer one for a fundraiser raffle, and I am more terrified of letting down his school and being that mom, than I am of anything else in the entire world, so I said yes. But, I told them, I will only do it if I can do it my way.
That was almost a year ago, and when I arrived to the session last night, I was nervous. Mostly because I was afraid I'd accidentally swear in the first three minutes and also because I haven't shaved my armpits since December 1st (I'm convinced they keep me warm like tiny sweaters in the winter), and I was wearing a t-shirt under a sweater and what if they turn their heat up too high and then I get super hot but can't take my top layer off because then when I lift my arm up to take a picture the kids will actually think I've smuggled two baby hedgehogs into their living room like a small traveling petting zoo. I'm not lying. This is an actual thought that went through my head while I was worrying in the car on the drive over.
I was also nervous because I didn't want to let them down.
The second they opened the door, I forgot every single thing and fell madly in love with this family. I need you to forget all the other photographers who write that just to be nice because I'm not even kidding, these are the type of people you meet and instantly you're just like, how can we become best friends for life because you even smell wonderful.
And then, within two minutes of watching them interact with one another, I almost passed out from all the love. These people love one another with a gentle strength that could save the world.
And thennnnnn, the Dad is a fetal surgeon, the Mom is a badass attorney who hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro, their oldest son, Ethan, is the sweetest little old soul who is seriously going to be on Chopped Jr. any day now, and little Dylan, with his one little dimple, has a heart as big as the moon.
So, in short, these people kind of ruined it for me. Because now, I kind of love capturing families. I kind of see how incredible it is to step inside someone's home and show them how incredible I think they are. And now, I kind of love taking the exact same kinds of pictures for other families that I take of my own. And now, I am googling houses for rent in their neighborhood so we can hang out daily while our kids ride scooters back and forth. I'm only a little bit lying about the last part. The rest is true.
You guys, I really loved this experience. Like, a whole lot. And I really loved falling in love with their love. And I would love to do it again for other people.
I'll leave it at that for now. But, if you have always wanted to have a session with me, but weren't ready to jump in a river with your entire family and show your nipples to the whole wide world, please reach out to me again. I've had a change of heart.
You can blame the Haeri family, and all of their brilliant magic.